DADSS Research Program

Inventing a world without drink driving.

First Generation Technology Announcement -Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is ACTS announcing? 

The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, Inc. (ACTS), a Virginia nonprofit whose members include the world’s leading automakers, is announcing that new advanced alcohol detection technology from the DADSS Program will be made available for open-source licensing for use in commercial vehicles for the first time ever, later this year.

 

How does the DADSS technology differ from existing technology?

The first–generation DADSS breath alcohol detection technology enjoys the following advantages over existing alcohol detection technologies:

 

  • Ease of use–only a small puff of breath is needed compared to a forced deep lung sample of breath;

  • Lifetime calibration compared to repeated and frequent recalibration depending upon usage;

  • No mouth piece used thereby avoiding significant plastic waste; and

  • Lower Total Cost of ownership.

 

What does “open-source licensing” mean and who can license the technology?

“Open-source licensing” means the technology will be made available, on the same terms, to any product integrator interested in installing the technology into their fleet of vehicles. Product integrators can include auto suppliers, auto manufacturers and others who make and install, or contract to have made, integrated and aftermarket products for fleets.

 

Why would I want to license this technology for my fleet or fleet service offering?

The first-generation DADSS alcohol detection technology can provide companies an added layer of protection for their drivers, employees and staff to ensure a driver cannot operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. There are numerous benefits to integrating this technology into your fleet – from preventing injuries and crashes on the road to giving company managers additional protection from liabilities associated with drinking and driving.

 

Licensing DADSS technology provides many benefits, including:

 

  • Improved time to market;

  • Greatly reduced research and development costs;

  • Opportunity to enter new markets or provide new product offerings

How do I know if the DADSS technology is right for my fleet or fleet service offering?  

If your company provides services or equipment to fleets or owns a commercial fleet of vehicles – large or small – we invite you to learn more about the first-generation alcohol detection system to see if it is a good fit. This first-generation system is designed for fleet operators implementing a zero-tolerance alcohol policy for their drivers, meaning the system recognizes alcohol levels at or above 0.02%. 0.02% is the industry standard level at which the system knows there is breath alcohol detected beyond other liquids that contain alcohol, like mouthwash.

 

DADSS technologies will be licensed to both automotive and non–automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (“OEM”) capable of manufacturing, deploying, servicing, warranting and remedying the technology.  Typically, these are manufacturers within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) common industry classification sector 31–33, “Manufacturing.”  

 

Transportation–related

 

The in–vehicle transportation uses cases for alcohol detection systems installed in privately–owned vehicles, commercial fleet vehicles, and other transportation vehicles include: passenger cars, light trucks, commercial truck vehicles, including vehicles in the classes 1–9, motorcycles, school and passenger buses, air transport vehicles, rail transport vehicles, water vessels.

 

Other transportation–related use cases include: non–invasive screening and monitoring of vehicle operators, maintenance support staff, and other employees with safety critical job functions.

 

Non–transportation–related

 

The non–transportation use cases for alcohol detection systems include: non–invasive screening or monitoring of employees holding safety critical jobs, smart wearables and clothing, patient monitoring, telemedicine.

How will the technology be integrated into my fleet?

The technology can be integrated into any existing fleet vehicle. The exact integration will depend on the specific make and model of a fleet vehicle, and the individual fleet operator’s needs. This could include transportation vehicles, such as buses or shuttles, government vehicles, rental cars, trucking and freight companies, or other commercial-based entities.  

 

Has this technology ever been integrated into fleet vehicles before?

Yes. Through a partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Driven to Protect Initiative, a

private company was engaged to conduct in-vehicle, on-road test trials of the DADSS technology. James River Transportation, based in Richmond, Virginia, has been a transportation leader for 90 years with an impressive history of using technology to advance safety. Since partnership began in 2018, technology integrators have installed breath sensors into James River Transportation’s Ford Flex commercial vehicles. The data and feedback collected from the sensors, as well as from the drivers themselves, have been invaluable in finalizing the technology as it is prepared for widespread commercialization.

 

For more information on the partnership with James River Transportation, click here and watch this video here.

 

How much will the technology cost?

Costs will vary depending on the size of the vehicle fleet. The total cost of ownership for the DADSS technology will be less than the price of existing alcohol detection technology that is on the market today. 

 

How does the technology work?

DADSS technology provides a real–time, highly precise and highly accurate, near instantaneous direct measurement of a driver’s impairment by alcohol.

 

The first-generation system requires only a limited breath sample - like blowing out a candle - and gives an accurate reading in a second or less. Drivers provide a puff of breath directed towards a small sensor, which can be outfitted in the steering column, side door trim or anywhere that is in close proximity to the driver.

 

The information presented to the user can be customized, and product integrators will be able to choose options like showing the user a “pass/fail” reading, a set of color-coded warnings, or displaying the exact breath alcohol concentration in real-time.

 

Will the technology prevent a vehicle from starting or moving after detecting alcohol?

The DADSS technology allows for this feature to be implemented depending upon a fleet operator’s individual needs and equipment. Each fleet operator will determine what, if any action, their vehicles take when detecting alcohol levels at or above the 0.02% threshold. This could include sending a real-time notification to company leadership about a positive reading or locking the transmission so the vehicle cannot be moved into gear.

 

It’s important to note that the final version of the system will vary. That means the location of the sensors, the actions the sensors will take, and/or the driver’s interaction with the sensors will differ greatly and depend on the individual fleet operator’s needs.

 

Can the technology be tampered with?

The system can be integrated into the vehicle cabin so there is no external hardware that can be tampered with. For variations that include a “handheld” system were hardware is installed inside the vehicle cabin, additional video monitoring systems can be integrated to ensure the devices are not fooled or are tampered with. Many fleet providers already utilize such video monitoring systems for their drivers and company vehicles.

 

Will the technology work with face masks? 

Testing is ongoing to determine how the sensors will be affected by face masks. Drivers may need to lower their masks to provide a sample, then replace it once an accurate breath sample has been taken.

 

Will this technology inconvenience my drivers, staff or company employees?

The system is designed to require very minimal operation from drivers, in a seamless way. Our partnership with James River Transportation in Virginia has given technology integrators invaluable data on how vehicles, and drivers, interact with the system. Unlike existing alcohol detection technology, the system is designed to be fast and seamless, allowing the drivers to focus on their task at hand with limited interruption.

 

What if I have other alcohol detection technologies in my fleet already?

We invite you to learn more about the first-generation alcohol detection system to see if it is a good fit, even if you have existing alcohol detection technologies in your fleet.

 

Is there a minimum number of vehicles I need in my fleet to license the technology?

No.

 

What is the process for licensing?

ACTS has established an open licensing process for all intellectual property generated by the DADSS Program or to which ACTS has license rights. ACTS licenses DADSS intellectual property that can be developed into commercial products, rather than selling the products itself.

 

The licensee continues advancement of the technology and makes other business investments to develop the product or service.  This step may entail further development, regulatory approvals, training, and other activities.  ACTS maintains an ongoing working relationship with each licensee over the term of the license agreement to monitor progress and ensure product development.  Because of ACTS’ private, nonprofit status, it can and will offer its licensees confidentiality, which can be very important when dealing with new product development and deployment.

 

Senseair and its distribution partner are also planning to offer an option to buy a standalone product. More information can be found by contacting Senseair via their website here.  

 

What types of licensing are available?

A license grants permission to use intellectual property owned by ACTS, or to which ACTS has rights, to another party – the licensee.  A license agreement defines the rights of the licensee to use the technology and the responsibilities of the licensee to bring the technology to market.

 

Three types of agreements are offered.  These are:

 

  • Nondisclosure Agreement: A Nondisclosure Agreement (“NDA”) shall be executed between ACTS and a prospective licensee wanting to enter into discussions on a possible collaboration for the realization and sale of products incorporating DADSS intellectual property.  

 

  • Pre–commercialization Agreement: A Pre–commercialization Agreement (“PCA”) shall be executed between ACTS and a prospective commercial licensee wanting to engage in its own activities exploring the design, development, validation, marketing, distribution and sale of specific products incorporating DADSS sensors or systems prior to actual active commercialization activities.  

 

  • Commercialization Agreement:  A Commercialization Agreement (“CA”) shall be executed between ACTS and a commercial licensee wanting to bring new products or services to market incorporating DADSS sensors or systems.  The broader act of commercialization entails additional business investment to establish production, distribution, marketing, sales, training, customer support capabilities, as well as all other key functions such as securing regulatory approvals, critical to achieving the commercial success of the new product or service. 

 

If I am an automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (“OEM”) and want to integrate DADSS technology into my fleet, what would that include?

 

A DADSS Reference Design for commercial licensing by OEM Licensees includes schematics, specifications, minimum hardware requirements, and other documentation relating to the hardware design of the DADSS Derivative being licensed. 

 

The main purpose of a Reference Design process is to support OEMs in development of next generation products using the latest technologies.  The reference product is proof of the platform concept and is usually targeted for specific applications.  Reference Design packages enable a fast track to market thereby cutting costs and reducing risk in the OEM’s integration project.

 

As the predominant customer for Reference Designs are OEMs, many reference designs are created as a means to increase the likelihood that the product will be designed into the OEMs product.

 

ACTS performs the necessary testing and analyses to make a data–driven, science–based objective decision regarding the readiness of a Reference Design to be licensed to OEM (“OEM Licensees”).  DADSS Reference Designs will have completed acceptance testing at the component or system level, including:

 

  • Verification and Validation (“V&V”) Testing to demonstrate conformance with established performance specifications.  The goal of performing the V&V testing is to understand the performance of the DADSS sensors under tightly controlled laboratory conditions such as the impact of temperature and other environment factors (humidity) using a well-defined artificial alcohol sample. 

 

  • Human Subjects Testing (“HST”) adds variability due to human interaction and biologic differences.  The goal of the HST is to understand the performance of the DADSS sensors in a controlled setting with blood alcohol samples obtained from human subjects via venipuncture – the reference “gold” standard for BAC measurements.

 

  • Field Operational Trials (“FOT”) both in controlled (Human Subject Driving or “HSD”) and naturalistic fleet operational trials of FOTs are being conducted to understand the performance of the sensors in a real-world driving environment.  FOT testing adds variability due to human breath or touch sample, operator–sensor interface interactions, and vehicle and environmental factors.

 

Who should I contact if I’m interested in licensing the technology?

Please contact ACTS by clicking here

Where can I learn more about the announcement and the technology?

 

For information on the open-source licensing announcement, stay tuned to www.actsautosafety.org

 

For information on the DADSS Research Program, visit www.dadss.org

For information on the first-generation system, visit the manufacturer’s website at https://senseair.com/applications/alcohol-sensing/